Indonesia: December 5, 1999

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New fighting in the Malukus left at least 31 dead.

December 2; Indonesia has announced plans to upgrade its air base at Kupang, West Timor, saying that this became necessary due to the recent withdrawal of military forces from East Timor.--Stephen V Cole

December 2; The new Indonesian government of President Wahid has (through its new Defense Minister, Admiral Widodo) relaxed its grip on Aceh Province in a bid to end the insurgency there. Widodo has ordered an end to the "security approach" in the area. The term "security approach" is the former government's codeword for a harsh police and military crackdown. Widodo has ordered the withdrawal of the elite Special Forces (KOPASSUS) and Strategic Reserve (KOSTRAD) units from Aceh; these elite units were the most fiercely loyal to the Suharto government and have a record of extensive human rights abuses. Admiral Widodo has canceled the plans of his predecessor, General Wiranto, to upgrade the military commander in Aceh to Major General; the planned upgrade had caused considerable local opposition.--Stephen V Cole

December 2; Troops fired on separatist demonstrators in Irian Jaya, injuring 28.

December 1; Several violent incidents in Aceh over the last few days have left four dead, two injured and one missing. Among the casualties was one soldier dead, one injured and one missing. The Aceh separatists are arming and becoming increasingly violent. In Irian Jaya, tens of thousands of separatist demonstrators planned a rally tomorrow.

 

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